Just about the only thing the A’s didn’t win recently was the trade deadline.
The A’s didn’t make any major trades. None. They didn’t trade for a shortstop that can actually hit. They didn’t trade Grant Balfour or Kurt Suzuki.
It was an unusually quiet July for the A’s. It felt as if Billy Beane could have been on a tropical island with an adult beverage in hand. Inactivity from Beane goes against everything we’ve come to expect.
They did acquire back-up catcher George Kottaras for extra bullpen arm Fautino De Los Santos on Saturday from Milwaukee.
With the team playing so well, the best thing for them was not to make a move. Bringing in reinforcements would send a signal to the current players that the front office doesn’t think they have enough.
David Forst, A’s assistant GM, told CSN Bay Area’s Casey Pratt that the team is standing by their players:
“We said all along that we had to be respectful of the group that’s here and how well they’ve played. A lot of our success has come because of the young players and we were going to be protective of those guys.”
The charm of this A’s team is that they are scrappy. They’ve got spunk. They’ve banded together. With two months to go, we have no idea if they can sustain this level of play, but they are going to live or die by what has gotten them here.
That approach may blow up in their face when the patchwork players like Brandon Hicks, Brandon Moss, Brandon Inge, Eric Sogard and Chris Carter come back down to earth. It may catch up to them when young starters Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone and A.J. Griffin run out of gas during the stretch run.
A’s manager Bob Melvin told Pratt he’s happy with the team the way it is:
“We just didn’t feel like with what was out there and what we would have to look to give up, that it was worth making a move right now. I think the chemistry and everything else that’s going on right now came into play with that decision as well.”
Just because the A’s didn’t deal before the July 31 non-waiver deadline doesn’t mean they wont re-adjust their roster. Trades can still be made during August. The only difference is teams have to put players through a waiver process. If the A’s want a player, they have to hope that every team with a worse record passes on the player.
Depending on how the last two months play out, we’ll know if the strategy worked. The Angels and Rangers both added top of the rotation pitchers to help try to make the playoffs. The A’s will have to hope their returning pitchers make a big enough impact.